Sunday, 15 May 2016

Israel and America are one nation. Who knew?

The Office of Rabbi Sacks together with LSJS, US Living and Learning & Koren Publishers invite you to this special shiur to launch the Weinstein Family Edition of the Koren Sacks Shavuot Machzor.

Koren Sacks Mahzor Series – A growing body of Hebrew-English holiday prayer books that fuses the translation and commentary of Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks with the unique design and layout of Koren Publishers Jerusalem. The liturgy includes a modern English translation and features prayers for the State of Israel, Israel’s Defense Forces, Welfare of the Government and the Safety of the American Military Forces. The Koren Sacks Rosh HaShana Mahzor was released in 2011 and was named a 2011 National Jewish Book Award finalist by The Jewish Book Council. The Koren Sacks Yom Kippur Mahzor was released in 2012 and the Koren Sacks Pesah Mahzor was released in March 2013. The Jewish Press calls the introduction to the Koren Sacks Pesah Mahzor "a thematic and theological entree to the very essence of Passover."

In the Middle East and Persian Gulf, we seek to foster regional stability, deter aggression against our friends and interests in the region, protect U.S. nationals and property, and safeguard our access to international air and seaways and to the region's oil. The United States is committed to the security of Israel and to maintaining the qualitative edge that is critical to Israel's security. Israel's confidence in its security and U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation contribute to the stability of the entire region', as demonstrated once again during the Persian Gulf War. At the same time, our assistance to our Arab friends to defend themselves against aggression also strengthens security throughout the region, including for Israel.

Its critics have stated it acts as an agent of the Israeli government with a "stranglehold" on the United States Congress with its power and influence. The group has been accused of being strongly allied with the Likud party of Israel, and the Republican Party in the US, but an AIPAC spokesman has called this a "malicious mischaracterization." The Washington Post described the perceived differences between AIPAC and J Street: "While both groups call themselves bipartisan, AIPAC has won support from an overwhelming majority of Republican Jews, while J Street is presenting itself as an alternative for Democrats who have grown uncomfortable with both Netanyahu’s policies and the conservatives’ flocking to AIPAC."

AIPAC, on the other hand, describes itself as a bipartisan organization, and bills it lobbies for in Congress are always jointly sponsored by both a Democrat and Republican. AIPAC's supporters claim its bipartisan nature can be seen at its yearly policy conference, which in 2016 included both parties' front-runners (Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump), as well as high ranking Democrats, including Vice President Joe Biden, and high-ranking Republicans, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

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